A Christmas Island beach is the surprise inclusion in the official Top 10 Australian Beaches for 2017.
The much-anticipated list, compiled for only the second time in history by the nation's leading beach expert Brad Farmer, will be announced by the Federal Minister for Territories and Regional Development, Senator the Hon Fiona Nash at iconic Bondi Beach on Saturday, 3 December, 2016.
Farmer, who is endorsed by Tourism Australia as an expert Aquatic and Coastal Ambassador, and who has been researching beaches since 1985, left no stone (or should that be sandcastle!) unturned in his quest to uncover Australia's award winning stretches of sand.
Over the past five months clad in little more than boardies, hat and sunnies, the beach aficionado has “comprehensively assessed thousands of kilometres of coastline around Australia” in what some may describe as the 'best job in the world'.
While news that one of Christmas Island's beaches has made the Top 10 list might be a shock for many Australians unaware of the island's natural wonders, the sought-after gong comes as no surprise to locals.
“It's an early Christmas present for us” says Linda Cash, Marketing Manager of the Christmas Island Tourism Association, adding “our island paradise is blessed with some of the most spectacular coastline on the planet.”
“When there are 11,761 (but hey, who's counting!) beaches in our country, to be named in the Top 10 is a real privilege,” adds Cash who hopes the announcement will shine the spotlight on the island's natural beauty, which in recent years has been partly overshadowed by the island's facility for asylum seekers.
One person who clearly needs no convincing is Farmer who when he visited Christmas Island as part of his exhaustive research, wasn't just blown away with the beauty of the island's “sublime isolated beaches” but was also enamoured by its wildlife including its “soaring birds” and “diverse marine life”.
According to Farmer, “Christmas Island is one of the world's best kept secrets whose time to shine as an internationally acclaimed ecotourism destination has arrived.”
Meanwhile, speculation is rife as to which of the island's favourite beaches has made the coveted list.
“Some believe it has to be Merrial Beach, a remote and ultra-private sandy key-hole beach where there's an unwritten rule if you see a car in the car park you come back another time,” reveals Cash, adding, “others think it could be Dolly Beach, a natural rock spa encased in a crescent of white sand and backed by a lush forest of coconut palms.”
Regardless of which beach it is, the announcement will change the way many Australians think of Christmas Island.
Discover Christmas Island before the rest of the world does.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Tourism Australia research reveals that beaches are ranked first as the most appealing Australian attraction amongst international tourists when deciding on a holiday destination.
- Almost 90 per cent of Australians live on the coast and beaches are one of the highest earners for the Australian economy behind mining.
For more information on Australia's Best Beaches 2017, contact Brad Farmer, Australia's Beach Ambassador, on: 0413 031870.